In spite of all the available funding (nearly $4 billion is reserved for funding year 2019), applications have declined by 25% since 2015, according to a Funds for Learning 2018 survey. The same survey found that 44% of applicants said their Wi-Fi network is four or more years old and more than 50% of applicants will need to upgrade their Wi-Fi in the next one to three years.
How Ingram Micro and Cisco simplify the E-rate process
The USAC E-rate program can be complicated to navigate. To make this process a little easier, IT solution providers can join the Ingram Micro Public Sector Advantage program, which includes support for E-rate opportunities.
Cisco offers a range of programs that can help K–12 schools increase their return on their technology investment, and in many cases, these special offers align with E-rate:
- S. K–12 bundled warranty offers— Available to all Cisco U.S. K–12 and library customers, this program offers discounts on E-rate-eligible products and provides 12 months of access to Cisco’s Technical Assistance Center (TAC), software updates and cisco.com, plus up to three years of advance hardware replacement with annual service renewal.
- Wired and wireless bundles—Cisco mobility solutions empower students to learn anywhere, on any device, which is a fundamental principle of digital learning. And studies show these empowered students are more engaged in learning. Here are a couple of bundles Cisco is offering for the E-rate 2019 season:
- 5 for the price of 2: Buy 5 Cisco Aironet access points for the price of 2 when buying the Cisco Catalyst 9300 48-Port PoE (power over Ethernet) switch bundle with a 5-year Cisco DNA Advantage subscription.
- 15 for the price of 6: Buy 15 access points for the price of 6 when buying the Cisco Catalyst 9400 144-Port Switch Bundle with a 5-year Cisco DNA Advantage subscription.
Simplify E-rate builds with the Cisco K–12 Configurator
The Cisco Commerce Solution Advisor portal includes a K–12 Configurator tool designed to help partners minimize the time to build bills of materials (BOMs) for access switching and wireless. The tool is part of the existing Build & Price Configuration Advisor workflow. Highlights of the K–12 Configurator tool include:
- Asks 12 to 13 questions and provides three options to choose from (best competitive, value optimized, balanced performance)
- Targeted for BOMs for less than 10,000 students
- Support for Cisco access switching and wireless
- Support for Meraki MR access points and Meraki MS switching product lines, Catalyst 2960-X and 3650 Series switches, Mobility Express, Cisco WLC, Cisco Aironet 1850 Series access points with Wave 2 and Cisco Connected Education SKUs
- After making a selection, the BOM will be converted to a CCW (Cisco Commerce Workspace) quote
- Multiple options can be chosen if multiple quotes are requested (e.g., a cloud quote and an on-premises quote). Please direct your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although the E-rate 2019 season doesn’t start until July 1, 2019, it’s a good idea to start planning now so you don’t miss out on this huge opportunity. We have dedicated E-rate resources to assist you. For details, contact Kevin Wills, senior channel account specialist—Cisco public sector at Ingram Micro.